January 29, 2008


Smokers kicking habit after ban (BBC, 1/29/08)

Nearly 165,000 people in England gave up smoking with the help of the NHS last summer, when lighting up was banned in enclosed public spaces.

This is a 28% increase in the number of people successfully using the Stop Smoking Services compared to 2006.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2008 8:17 AM

IIRC, alcoholism went down under Prohibition as well, but people rebelled against it as well. Is there really such a profound difference in this case?

Posted by: Just John at January 29, 2008 6:31 PM

People didn't. Elites did. There is no difference now.

Posted by: oj at January 29, 2008 8:39 PM

I think you have it backwards, oj. At least in my town, it was the elites (nanny-state urban liberals banding together with Puritan suburbanites) that pressed for the ban.

Working class bars are disappearing in my city after the ban, to be replaced by yuppy and hipster bars. The working class bars had pulltabs (gasp, yet another vice!) to support youth sports. The yuppy and hipster places don't do this, and city youth sports organizations are suffering. My wife is on the board for youth hockey, and they've lost half their revenue over the last year because of this.

And the way my dad tells it, ordinary folks (he grew up on a depression-era farm) basically ignored prohibition, at least as far as the Germans and their beer was concerned. Many rural lawmen were involved in the black market themselves, or at least looked the other way. Hardly the elites.

Prohibition came out of the temperance movement, which had a large overlap with the suffrage movement. It still does. You can bet that the most whiny people on this subject (the ones who complain when they are twenty yards upwind of a burning cigarette outside) are staunch supporters of The Right to Choose. They're the ones whose kids are encouraged to lecture adults on the evils of smoking.

Posted by: ted welter at January 29, 2008 9:53 PM

Women, who hadn't even had the vote, were, by definition, not the elite. The great myth of Prohibition, propounded by urban intellectuals, is that it was widely disobeyed. That's false, as a look at the steep decline in alcohol related pathologies during the period reveals.

Posted by: oj at January 30, 2008 12:31 AM